Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stepping Out In The Great Unknown

Last Monday we had a called full staff meeting. Once everyone was assembled,  our office's project manager called our company's headquarters and one of the corporate VPs came on the line to announce our office would be closing permanently at the end of August. Many in the room were shocked. I was not one of them. I have learned over the years to pay close attention to the small details and to read the signs.

In the last 14 years, I have survived two small businesses where I was employed collapsing. Unfortunately, they were consecutive jobs. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. But both of those experiences taught me a great deal including the tell-tale signs to notice. Both of these situations also taught me lessons in faith much like the lessons learned through surviving divorce. 

After the second small business collapse and subsequent layoffs, it took awhile to find another job. The concerns regarding paying the mortgage, child support, and all of the other bills felt like a huge mill stone hanging around my neck. But a gracious God provided for us while I sought a new job. I took side jobs from three consulting firms during my unemployment, and it was always enough at the last moment. And after the financial losses from walking through divorce, the prospect of starting over from scratch did not seem as intimidating as it had in the past.

While this is not a small business collapse, my past experience allowed me to recognize this office closing several months ago. And though I do not have a new job lined up, I have used the time leading up to Monday's announcement to prepare and had begun the job search process. Now is the tough but familiar part - the waiting and the sense of the unknown. 

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
- Tom Petty

As I think about the weeks and months that lie ahead of us,  I can picture that scene from Indiana Jones. He is standing at the very edge looking down into an abyss. He draws a deep breath,  looks straight ahead, and takes a huge step out into nothing. And to his surprise, he finds himself fully supported. It is a familiar feeling. I have been here before, and although I would rather not be here again, I know the one the cares for me holds me in the palm of his hand.

So I wait...

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" 
Matthew 6:25-27



Saturday, March 01, 2014

A Host of Golden Daffodils

It's been a bitterly cold winter in the Metro Atlanta area including the much publicized snow and ice Apocalypse. It was a warm 44F today, and we had to get outside and enjoy some natural serenity. And there is no better place than Gibbs Gardens for that kind of decompression. Here are a few pictures to help bridge you to spring's eventual arrival and a poem by Wordsworth.

Photo credits: The Author


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Photo credits: The Author

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

Photo credits: The Author

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

Photo credits: The Author

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 
- William Wordsworth

Photo Credits: The Author